This week M has been going to school until 11.30, and it’s gone well. There was a concern today that she would not take kindly to being removed from her gym class part way through (she does like gym and this was due to be the first lesson she had fully participated in since November). We spoke to her and asked if she would like to stay for the whole lesson and she was very keen.
I was asked to come up to the school at the usual time of 11.30 and have a coffee in the office just in case M got agitated and wanted to leave early. But she didn’t. At midday, after completing the entire gym lesson happily, changing and collecting all her things, a calm and content wee girl came to the office. She had a copy of her visual timetable for Monday ready to be stuck on the kitchen wall as soon as we got home, and the whole morning had been a success.
It seems a small thing to you perhaps, if you don’t have a child with autism, but for M this is a really big deal. Next week we are extending her school day to midday every day, and I am hopeful that she will continue not only to cope, but to thrive. It just shows how well mainstream can work for some (not all) children if their needs are met properly.